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A dark groin can be lightened by treating the underlying physical problem or using topical skin treatments and lighteners, cosmetic procedures, and natural remedies. Dark groin skin is often thicker than normal and has a softer, velvety texture. Skin other than the groin is also commonly affected and includes areas of the body where there are creases and folds.
Dark groin skin can be indicative of a skin disorder, acanthosis nigricans, which can indicate an underlying medical condition. It can be caused by elevated insulin levels, such as in obese individuals and in Type II diabetics. Medical conditions such as thyroid or pituitary disorders can also result in a darkening of the skin in the groin, as can some cancers. The condition may also be hereditary. It can also be caused by medications such as corticosteroids and oral contraceptives.
Nonmedical causes of dark groin skin can include the repeated use of razors when shaving, friction from skin surfaces rubbing together, tight clothing, and age. Treatments that are intended to lighten groin skin are based on the initial cause of the darkening. For individuals whose dark skin is due to obesity, weight loss is the initial treatment prescribed. In people who are insulin resistant or have diabetes, insulin level management may help lighten skin. Medications that cause the condition should be discontinued if possible.
For other causes and for further treatment, people turn to other methods. Topical skin treatments include retinoids such as isotetronin, which are related to vitamin A and help to repair damaged skin. Whitening creams, which include alpha-hydroxy acids, urea, and salicylic acid, also lighten dark groin skin by softening the keratin, allowing the thickened areas to be removed.
Topical lighteners can bleach the skin. An example of this is 2% to 4% hydroquinone cream, which lessens skin pigmentation. Cosmetic procedures are also common treatments and include dermabrasion, in which the thickened, darkened skin is abraded away, and laser therapy, which lightens color by resurfacing the skin.
There are also a number of natural methods that are indicated for lightening dark groin skin. Exfoliation, bio oil, licorice bath soap, and sour milk are all recommended applications, as is almond powder. Mixing juice from limes, lemons, and oranges with turmeric can create a topical application. Turmeric added to a glass of milk makes a drink that can lighten darkened groin skin when consumed over time.